Mexico striker Raul Jimenez says his team-mates are hoping to create history at next month’s Copa America as they prepare for the South American tournament with an international friendly fixture against Guatemala over the weekend.
Miguel Herrera’s men welcome Guatemala to Estadio Zoque VMR on Saturday – the first chance for the Mexico boss to work with the national team since announcing his preliminary squad for the Copa America more than a fortnight ago.
Mexico will face hosts Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia in Group A next month, without Javier Hernandez, brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos, Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa, as Herrera prioritises July’s Gold Cup.
Despite the absence of seven key players, Jimenez is confident about Mexico’s chances in South America, with the CONCACAF nation hoping to improve on their showing four years ago, having exited CONMEBOL’s showpiece event without a win in the group stages.
“We are encouraged that Miguel has us such confidence, we have to think about that, that we transcend to a great tournament, to be champions you have to beat anyone, we can do it, we are a large group,” the Atletico Madrid striker said.
“A good team was put together in all lines, we have experience and youth.
“We come with that desire to achieve something important. We will not settle for just improving on what was done in Argentina , we hope to make history.”
Mexico have enjoyed a mixed bag of results in 2015, having lost to United States in April after starting the year with back-to-back wins against Paraguay and Ecuador.
CONCACAF rivals Guatemala are in the midst of a four-match winless streak.
Ivan Franco Sopegno will be without Seattle Sounders forward Marcos Pappa for the trip to Mexico, but he is able to call upon the nation’s most capped player and all-time leading goalscorer – 35-year-old Carlos Ruiz.
Ruiz has scored 57 goals in 112 appearances since debuting in 1998.